The Diary of Anne Frank might be the most famous personal account of the Holocaust. This was written in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, between 1942 and 1944. Anne was born in 1929. Anne’s father, Otto, had come from a wealthy background, but his family’s fortune was lost after World War I. The Franks, a Jewish family, moved to the Netherlands in 1933 in order to escape Nazi persecution.
Anne received a diary on her thirteenth birthday and expressed hope that it would become her one trusted confidant. She immediately began filling her diary with details of her life. Less than one month after she began documenting, Anne and her family were suddenly forced into hiding.
The Franks were relatively prepared, since they had been sending furniture and provisions to a secret annex in Otto’s office building in anticipation of the Gestapo.
While they were in hiding, the Franks used a radio to keep up with news from the war, and Anne frequently wrote in her diary about events that caught her attention.
The Gestapo finally arrested Anne and her family on August 4, 1944. Two secretaries who worked in the building found the books containing Anne’s diary entries strewed over the floor of the annex. The secretaries handed over the diaries to Miep Gies, an assistant in Otto’s office. Miep held the diary, unread, in a desk drawer. When the war ended in 1945, Miep delivered the diary to Otto Frank, who had survived the horrors of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anne died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in February or March of 1945.
Otto Frank knew of his daughter’s wish to become a published writer. He reviewed the diary and selected passages, keeping in mind constraints on length and appropriateness for a young-adult audience. When Mr. Frank died in 1980, the Anne Frank Foundation in Switzerland, inherited the copyright to the diary. A new, complete edition, which restored the passages Mr. Frank left out of the original edition, was published in 1991.
2. Plot overview
Anne’s diary begins on her thirteenth birthday and ends shortly after her fifteenth. At the start of her diary, Anne describes her friendships with other girls, her crushes on boys, and her academic performance at school. The Franks had moved to the Netherlands in the years leading up to World War II to escape persecution in Germany. However, after the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the Franks were forced into hiding. With another family, the van Daans, and an acquaintance, Mr. Dussel, they moved into a small secret annex above Otto Frank’s office. The residents of the annex pay close attention to every development of the war by listening to the radio. Some bits of news catch Anne’s attention and make their way into her diary, providing a vivid historical context for her personal thoughts.
Anne often writes about her feelings of isolation and loneliness. She has a tumultuous relationship with the adults in the annex, particularly her...